San Francisco police have a new challenge on their hands as they endeavor to find a group of people involved in a new form of vandalism, after four Smart Cars were found flipped in the streets. Four Smart Cars were found in the early hours of Monday morning in various positions, on their sides or roof, in two separate areas of the city.
Reportedly all these vandal attacks happened within 30 minutes, three in the Bernal Heights neighborhood and another in the Portola neighborhood of San Francisco.
Andrew and Andrea Smith were among the affected and they told the media the incident was both “funny and upsetting,” all at the same time. They apparently awoke at 1 a.m. Monday to the sound of crunching coming from the street outside, followed by people hollering in what sounded to Andrew Smith like joy, before they went roaring off in what sounded like an SUV or similar vehicle.
What the Smith’s didn’t realize at the time, however, was that it was their Smart Car in the process of being flipped onto its roof. Shortly after hearing the sounds outside, a neighbor knocked on their door to inform them.
Andrea Smith said that the act was definitely a violent one and that it was maybe a prank. She said she isn’t bothering to try and figure it out but that it was a really stupid thing. Their car is now in the workshop and they are not sure, as yet, whether the vehicle is a write off.
One of the other Smart Cars flipped in the new form of vandalism in San Francisco was being looked after for an out of state friend by Shelley Gallivan.
According to Gallivan, the car was flipped over onto its side, but apparently still runs. Gallivan told the media that they are now talking about setting up a neighborhood watch in the area, with video cameras and motion sensor lights to prevent this type of incident happening again.
Gallivan’s friend and the owner of the vehicle, Wendy Orner, lives in Cincinnati. The car was apparently left to her by her 70 year old father when he passed away in January. She mentioned that her father was proud that at the age of 70 he was driving a Smart Car and felt very progressive about it. Orner did say that she plans on selling the car when visiting San Francisco in June this year for her father’s memorial. That is if anyone want to buy a Smart Car after what has happened.
According to the San Francisco police, they are not sure whether the vandalism was a prank or another incident in some escalating problems between residents in the area and the industry that produces the Smart Cars. Reportedly those against them say that the industry is to blame for higher rents and cost of living in the area.
According to a spokesman, Office Gordon Shyy, it is difficult at this stage to work out what the motive for the vandalism is until suspects are identified or arrested. He did add that the culprits would be charged with vandalism if caught, but that the descriptions they currently have are vague. According to witnesses, the vandals were wearing hoodies and driving an SUV.
Police Captain Tim Falvey added they are hoping to get hold of surveillance footage showing the Smart Cars being flipped as evidence of the new form of vandalism from neighbors in San Francisco, in an effect to identify the culprits.
By Anne Sewell